Monday, April 21, 2008

Ja, toch!

I love foreign editions, but with the exception of my faltering French (L’heure du pipi! indeed), I have to trust that the translations work.

So, now I discover the titles for the upcoming Dutch versions of two of my Pigeon books (I’ve yet to receive my copies).

Because of a different grammar and the fact that there is no specific word for ‘pigeon’ in Dutch (they’re all ‘doves’), Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! comes out (literally as ) Let the Dove Not Behind the Steering! (figuratively, it’s an easier Don’t Let the Dove Steer!)

In a pun on ‘steer’ (which works in English, too), Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! comes out as Steer the Dove to Bed on Time!

I’m not sure how much is gained or lost in these translations, but it does give me sympathy for the Thai translators of Sheep In the Big City who had to deal with characters like General Specific, Private Public, etc…

Although the title sequence wasn't too tough for the Polish...